In recognition of the support and commitment of University of Rochester alumni J. Nelson Hoffman and Joan Dutcher Hoffman, the Catholic Newman Community will rename its directorship position the J. Nelson Hoffman '55 and Joan Dutcher Hoffman '55 Director of the Catholic Newman Community Pastoral Care. The official announcement will take place over Meliora Weekend on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 10:30 a.m. during the Roman Catholic Mass in the University's Interfaith Chapel. The Most Rev. Matthew H. Clark, D.D., bishop of Rochester, will preside over the mass, which will be followed by a reception. Both are free and open to the public.
"For more than 10 years, the Hoffmans have been instrumental in helping us create a strong Catholic ministry program at Rochester," said the Rev. Brian Cool, director of the Catholic Newman Community. "This naming will allow future generations to come to know Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman and the Catholic legacy they helped to build at Rochester."
The Catholic Newman Community, the largest single denomination at the University, serves more than 1,300 students each year through the sponsorship of programs including mass, retreats, lectures, community dinners, and service projects, among others. During the 2009-2010 academic year, more than 350 student gathered weekly for mass, 75 student athletes involved in Newman's St. Sebastian Society volunteered their time tutoring and mentoring inmates in the county jail, and Newman students raised more than $2,600 for the Haiti relief effort and served more than 1,300 meals during Third Sunday Suppers.
For its efforts, the Newman Community has been recognized twice by the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, a national organization for campus Catholic ministers. In 2007, the St. Sebastian Society received the "Developing Leaders for the Future Award" and in 2009, the Newman Community received the "Forming the Faith Community Award" for its Newman Fest program, which focused on education, fundraising, and service to migrant farm workers in the Upstate New York region.
"All of us at the Interfaith Chapel celebrate with the Newman Community the generosity of the Hoffmans and we hope this encourages other gifts that will strengthen religious life and interfaith cooperation at the University," said the Rev. Allison Stokes, director of religious and spiritual life at the University. "Father Cool's gift for ministry with young people is exceptional. It gives me special delight that he is the first person to hold the Hoffman Directorship."
Guests of Meliora Weekend are encouraged to share their experiences by posting updates on Facebook, checking into Meliora Weekend and other locations around campus on foursquare, and sharing conversations and photos on Twitter and Flickr using the common hashtag #meliora.